49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo gives ACL rehab update after 2018 season ends


49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo gives ACL rehab update after 2018 season ends

SANTA CLARA — One day after the 49ers ended their disappointing 2018 season with a 4-12 record, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo spoke about his rehab from a torn ACL.

“It feels good,” Garoppolo said Monday. “Obviously there are some things that we’re limited with. The side-to-side lateral stuff is still questionable, but I’m happy where I’m at now.” 

Garoppolo has had running back Jerick McKinnon as a rehabilitation partner throughout the season, both having torn ACLs. McKinnon is a few weeks ahead of Garoppolo, and the QB jokingly said he’s been trying to catch up to his running back.

They both agree it’s been nice to have each other throughout the process. Before they were allowed on the field during games, they were up in the coaches booth together. The duo also has watched film together, and Garoppolo said they're already on the same page with what they see. 

Once he started standing on the sideline unable to play, though, Garoppolo admitted it was an odd experience.

“You don’t know how to act or react,” Garoppolo said, “and then once you get onto the field, that 5, 10 minutes before the game is the hardest part because you get all your juices flowing and you’re excited. You try to find the silver lining in everything, but it was tough. I’m not going to lie.” 

Garoppolo tried to take advantage of being as involved as possible during game days, as well as in as many meetings as his schedule would allow. He wore a headset during games, running through plays as if he was on the field. While the 49ers struggled during the season, he was proud of the mettle they showed. 

“There’s a lot of fight,” Garoppolo said. “We have a good locker room. Going through a season like we just went through, it’s tough. You can get a lot of guys who start pointing fingers and stuff like that, but whether it was offense or defense or special teams, everyone stayed locked in and stayed the course. It’s good to see that.” 

A few other NFL quarterbacks made their way back onto the field after ACL surgeries this season. Garoppolo has taken note of the progress of both DeShaun Watson and Carson Wentz. 

“ACL, it’s a little different for a quarterback. We’re not moving around as much as a normal football player I guess. It sounds bad saying that,” Garoppolo said, laughing a little, “but you know what I mean. It’s encouraging seeing those guys.” 

Garoppolo really just can’t wait to get back to his usual routine and move on to 2019. 

[RELATED: Sherman believes young 49ers will learn from 2018]

“Getting out on the field,” he said. “It’s been a while. It’s that feeling of getting out there with the guys and being in the huddle. Just little things like that. You miss a full season of it, you realize how much you really appreciate it when you do have it." 

The progress of the 49ers' younger players as the season progressed has Garoppolo looking forward for things to come. 

“I think there was ups and downs throughout the whole thing like any season,” he said. “But I think we’re going in the right direction. That’s the encouraging thing. You see young guys coming along and really finding their own way in the NFL and that’s exciting stuff. It will be a fun offseason.”

49ers' Ross Dwelley remains humble despite breakout game vs. Cardinals

49ers' Ross Dwelley remains humble despite breakout game vs. Cardinals

SANTA CLARA — If your job description was modified every week, how willing and able would you be adapting to the demands of your superiors? 

That’s exactly what 49ers tight end Ross Dwelley has done successfully week after week in the first six starts of his career. He has adjusted his play for injured players at fullback, offensive line and of course, tight end, in a seamless fashion.

Dwelley has even been given the nickname “Baby George” by his teammates for how similar he is becoming to Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, however, may have just given Dwelley a new moniker. 

“Yeah, he’s kind of the Swiss army knife in our offense right now,” Garoppolo said. “He does a little bit of everything, lines up split out at receiver sometimes, so you’ve got to tip your hat to him. 

“He’s had a lot on his plate the last however many weeks just with guys being down. He doesn’t even hesitate. He just attacks it, gets the formation and goes out there and performs. When his number is called, he does a great job.”

With all the praise he has been given over the last few weeks, Dwelley remains soft spoken and humble. His first answers in interviews always point to the closeness of the locker room and the support he has been given, even though he has been the one doing the extra credit work. 

“We have a lot of guys on this team stepping up when when guys go down,” Dwelley said when asked about filling in for Kittle. “It just speaks to how special this team is overall. We all got each others backs and we all just try to step up when we need to.” 

Dwelley might not have actually lined up on the offensive line but his play definitely supported backups Justin Skule and Daniel Brunskill when he stepped in for fullback Kyle Juszczyk who was nursing a knee injury. Coach Kyle Shanahan gave a lot of credit to the second-year tight end for all of the things he does that don’t show up on the stats sheet. 

“Ross has been great,” Shanahan said. “He’s been great all year. He was unbelievable stepping up, taking over for Juice when Juice was out and he’s been great stepping up for Kittle when he’s been out. 

“Ross has been one of the better football players on our team this year and doesn’t get a lot of accolades because he’s not going to sit there and get a bunch of explosive plays, but he’s as good of a football player as we’ve got going right now.”

Dwelley’s hard work paid off in the 49ers 36-26 victory over the Cardinals. Half of his four receptions went for touchdowns, the first two of his career. While Shanahan called the plays for Dwelley’s trips to the end zone, in a light-heartened manner he wants to make sure his tight end doesn’t get over confident.

[RELATED: Kittle impressed by Dwelley's play]

Dwelley’s low yards per catch average for the season are a constant point of reference by Shanahan to keep his player in check. While Dwelley currently is averaging 4.7 yards per reception, up until Week 9, it barely stood at one yard. 

“It’s fun to mess with him,” Shanahan said. “I mean, we respect the heck out of him. I said he was the best football player on our team yesterday, so I don’t mind messing with his average. He also had a 14-yarder called back so that’s where he got messed up. Or it was 10 yards I’m not sure. It’s better to keep his average down just to keep him humble. You know, we don’t want him to get carried away."

49ers' Dee Ford could miss a couple games, coach Kyle Shanahan says

49ers' Dee Ford could miss a couple games, coach Kyle Shanahan says

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers could be down another edge rusher on Sunday night, as it appears defensive end Dee Ford is unlikely to play against the Green Bay Packers.

Ford sustained a right hamstring strain on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals while throwing Kyler Murray for a 5-yard sack in the second quarter of the 49ers’ 36-26 victory at Levi’s Stadium. Ford ranks third on the team with 6.5 sacks.

“Any time you have a hamstring strain, there is concern it could be a couple of weeks,” coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday.

The 49ers hope to get tight end George Kittle back on the field after missing two games with undisclosed knee and ankle issues. Shanahan declined to identify the nature of Kittle’s injuries.

“I know it was enough to keep most people out for some time, which is has for George,” Shanahan said. “He’s missed two games now, and I know it will go down to the wire again this week. But hoping this week will be different.”

The 49ers (9-1) have a huge NFC matchup on Sunday night against the Packers (8-2). The 49ers lead the race in the NFC West, as well as home-field advantage in the playoffs. The Seattle Seahawks (8-2) are one game behind the 49ers for the division lead. The New Orleans Saints (8-2) are also in the mix for home-field advantage.

Shanahan said running back Matt Breida (ankle) and kicker Robbie Gould (right quadriceps) are uncertain for participation in practice on Wednesday due to their injuries. Gould has missed two games, while Breida sat out Sunday’s game.

[RELATED: Why Bosa believes Cardinals made right call with Kyler]

Wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) and Deebo Samuel (shoulder) played Sunday but are uncertain for practice participation on Wednesday. Their availability will be determined later in the week.

Nose tackle D.J. Jones (groin) and left tackle Joe Staley (finger) are not expected to be available this week due to their injuries.